NEWPORT County AFC failed to build on Saturday’s shock 1-0 win at League Two leaders Burton Albion as they were hit by a late smash and grab raid by old foes Mansfield Town.

The two sides have worked up quite a rivalry over recent seasons as they both won promotion from the Conference.

And the Stags, who beat County 1-0 back in August, completed the double over the Exiles courtesy of an 87th minute winner from substitute Reggie Lambe.

The former County trialist was given far too much time and space at the far post and he side footed Callum Elder’s cross in to seal a barely deserved three points.

On the night that the club paid tribute to legendary former player, trainer, physio and caretaker manager David Williams it certainly wasn’t the result that current boss Jimmy Dack and his players wanted.

But they do at least stay in the play-off places thanks to Plymouth Argyle’s 1-0 defeat at Stevenage, where the Exiles go on Saturday.

Dack made one change to the side that emerged victorious from the Pirelli Stadium with Lee Minshull coming in for Max Porter in central midfield.

Mansfield rang the changes with goalkeeper Lenny Pidgeley, on loan from County, one of six players to drop out of the starting XI.

But it was the visitors who settled into the match quicker and Joe Day, Pidgeley’s replacement as number one at Rodney Parade, had to be alert to keep out a Billy Kee header in the sixth minute.

The striker met Jeffrey Monakana’s cross with a big leap at the far post and his effort was on target but Day scooped it away from goal expertly.

Kee lined up as the lone front man for the Stags as they attempted to frustrate their hosts with a five man midfield.

The Exiles did take a while to get going and the colour clash didn’t help with both sides wearing variations of black and amber.

Chris Zebroski was one of several County players to pass to the opposition in the early stages and it wasn’t until the 17th minute that they had a proper attempt on goal.

Yan Klukowski, dubbed the League Two Frank Lampard by his manager recently, drifted in from the left flank and saw his goalbound effort blocked by the knees of Ryan Tafazoli.

Dack’s men gradually began to turn possession into chances and Zebroski headed in on 23 minutes after Adam Chapman and Mark Byrne had both seen shots blocked.

The goal didn’t stand, however, as the referee’s whistle had already gone for a free-kick to the visitors.

Sascha Studer was the busier goalkeeper as the half wore on and he was forced to punch a Ryan Jackson cross away from goal before Darren Jones headed over from a Byrne corner.

Miles Storey, the match winner at Burton, looked full of confidence as he buzzed around up front.

The forward, on loan from Swindon Town for the remainder of the season, found strike partner Zebroski in space but he scuffed his shot and was then adjudged to have fouled his marker.

Chapman, back in the side after several weeks on the bench prior to the weekend, was enjoying himself and earned applause from the home fans for a ‘Rabona’ ball through to Klukowski midway through the first half.

But there were warning signs for County as Kee continued to look a real threat for the visitors.

Day was again forced into action to keep out the striker’s header after Jones had failed to clear the cross and then Simon Heslop chipped over the keeper but failed to find his man in the middle.

That sparked a lightning quick break from County as they raced the length of the pitch, Byrne fed the overlapping Jackson and Storey’s clipped effort at the near post was deflected behind.

The hosts started the second half brightly as well and Minshull’s header from a Jackson long throw almost sneaked in at the far post before Studer smothered it.

Dack had spoken in the build-up of the need to score an early goal but his side were finding it hard to break through the densely packed Mansfield midfield and defence.

While they continued to push and probe, the fans attempted to rouse their team and they were on their feet when Byrne’s free-kick looked to be heading for the top corner only to hit the stanchion outside Studer’s left post.

At the other end they were again thankful to Day for a superb save to deny Kee after Jamie Maguire’s knockdown.

In an end to end finale Jones and Kee both fired high and wide with wild efforts before Byrne cut on from the right and dragged his shot off target.

Chapman almost won it with two remarkable moments of perfect technique inside the final five minutes but both superbly struck half volleys failed to find the net.

The first was brilliantly saved by Studer and the second smashed against the bar before Mansfield broke and stole all three points in a cruel finale for County.

County: Day, Jackson, Jones, Yakubu, Tutonda, Klukowski (Porter, 72), Minshull (Sandell, 69), Chapman, Byrne, Storey, Zebroski (Parker, 83)

Subs not used: Stephens, Feely, Howe, Jeffers

Mansfield: Studer, Beevers, Riley, Tafazolli, Elder, McGuire, Clements, Heslop (Thomas, 81), Monakana (Lambe, 58), Brown, Kee (Oliver, 83)

Subs not used: Rhead, Bingham, Ravenhill, Sutton

Referee: Andy Davies

Attendance: 2,481

Argus star man: Miles Storey